FPF Staff

Being new to campus can be daunting, but we’re here to help you feel at home. FPF Advisors mentor and coach you through your transition to Berkeley and beyond!

Kimberly Cattarusa

Program & Curriculum Coordinator

B.A. Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles


Kimberly is a Bay Area native who left to complete her undergraduate work at UCLA. She then returned home to work for Berkeley. She loves coffee, brunch, road-tripping and podcasts—let her know if you have any favorite podcasts that she should check out! When she is not meeting with students, Kimberly manages course scheduling and enrollment, coordinates instructor hiring, and handles new course approvals like a pro.

E-mail Kimberly

Office Phone: (510) 542-0323

Meaghan DeRespini, M.A.

Academic Advisor

B.S. Social Studies Education, New York University

M.A. International Education, New York University

Undocu-Ally and Trained in Gender Inclusion

Meaghan fled to the East Coast for college but always knew she'd return to the Bay Area. She loves to read, teach, dance, watch Giants baseball and lace up her running shoes. She's not quite crazy enough to try the "50 Marathons in 50 States" challenge, but she has started working her way around the country, 26.2 miles at a time! Meaghan takes the lead on program assessment and data collection in addition to managing the admissions and registration processes for FPF.


E-mail Meaghan

Office Phone: (510) 643-0375

Ariana Lee

Academic Advisor

B.A. Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley

Trained in Gender Inclusion


A native of Seattle and a happy Bay Area transplant, Ariana enjoys pine trees and heavy rain. She loves to read, design posters, sing, cook without recipes, and be out in nature. As the official resident foodie of FPF, she's a good person to ask about the best eats in Berkeley! Ariana manages the FPF brand including website content, external publications, and videos. She is also the FPF liaison for the Golden Bear Orientation Academic Advising Committee (GBO-AAC).

E-mail Ariana

Office Phone: (510) 642-5996

Jonathan Phillips

Academic Advisor

B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies and German, University of California, Berkeley

M.Ed. Higher Education, Harvard University 


Originally from Orange County, Jon moved to Northern California for UC Berkeley and fell in love with the Bay Area. Jon started his Berkeley career as an FPF student, so he has first-hand experience that he could share with you. A nerd at heart, Jon loves video games, anime, and all things sci-fi or fantasy. Jon is the FPF liaison for Yield Task Force, the cross-departmental team that organizes new student outreach.


E-mail Jon

Office Phone: (510) 529-1915

Emma Strong

Academic Advisor & Operations Coordinator

B.A. Dance and Anthropology, University of Washington

Trained in Gender Inclusion


Emma grew up on a small island near Seattle, and now lives in Oakland near Lake Merritt. Her Northwest roots contribute to her love of hiking, good coffee, and spending time near the water. Emma is always looking for new outdoor spots to explore, and new plants to add to her garden. Her favorite plant is her lemon tree, because lemons don't grow outdoors in Washington state! Emma is the on-site facilities coordinator for the FPF Building and the FPF liaison for College of Letters and Science policies.


E-mail Emma

Office Phone: (510) 643-0388

Tara Young, M.A.

Director of Fall Program for Freshmen

B.A. Sociology, New York University

M.A. Higher Education, University of Michigan

Undocu-Ally and Trained in Gender Inclusion

As a first-gen college graduate, Tara is passionate about teaching students to be dangerous: to ask the right questions and find resources. She is always mindful of the challenge that transitions can be, and her goal is to assist students with their own transition to Berkeley by offering them options and showing them how to successfully engage in their studies. Two fun facts about Tara are that she loves Star Trek and is a trained genealogist!

E-mail Tara

Office Phone: (510) 643-0374

Ramu Nagappan, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean, Division of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences and Center for Instructional Excellence

Ramu has been with the Fall Program for Freshmen many years and has seen it evolve during that time. He enjoys the outdoors, gardening, good books, and time with family. As part of his role, Ramu oversees instructor hiring and curriculum planning for FPF. 

E-mail Ramu

Office Phone: (510) 643-1283

Office Location and Hours

FPF Building at 2515 Hillegass Ave, 3rd Floor; Berkeley, CA 94704-7040

Fall Semester Advising Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9:00 AM-4:00 PM; Wed 11:00 AM-4:00 PM

Our office closed to the public during the spring and summer months, and visitors are allowed by appointment only. For appointments, please allow one business day's notice and call (510) 643-0379 or email fpf@berkeley.edu.

Student Advising, by the Numbers


77% in 2014

received 1-on-1 advising

between Spring-Fall 2017